When my daughter came in and told me how cute the cat looked all curled up in the ceramic pot in the cold frame, I was not happy. It was not my daughter’s fault. The cats often sleep in empty pots. This time, however, there were NO empty pots in the cold frame. There were pots full of dahlia bulbs sprouting fresh, tender growth. Now, one of them had less growth than it had that morning.
Fortunately, there was one stronger sprout that was not broken by the cat’s weight. The cat was gently removed, because she is an aged and beloved pet, but she would obviously gravitate back to this spot. Why cats would ever like to sleep on cool, damp soil in early spring, I don’t know. I will take it as a sign that my pots were staying pretty warm there, which was what I wanted.
The solution was plastic picnic forks. Four of them were placed with tines poking up, without piercing the dahlia bulbs with the handles in the soil, but close enough not to leave lounging space. The cat has not been back. The other pots were not big enough and the dahlias had grown quite a bit larger. The one in the ceramic pot had been one of the last to show growth.
This is also a simple, non-poisonous, low-tech, reusable way to protect new seedlings from cats in the outdoor garden beds. If you have an acre, like I do, you probably can’t put them everywhere. But, then neither do I have enough cats or new plants to need them everywhere. It is easy enough to remove the forks one day when there is weeding going on and you can see that the plants are now large enough to survive on their own. For me, the cats are worth the mouse and squirrel catching that they do. I’m willing to work with their idiosyncrasies.